Unlocking values in legal matters

The business slowdown in 2020 combined with uncertainties around operations taught us to challenge old approaches and find new alternatives to sustain business operations. One of the important learnings, was how to look for and unlock value in legal matters.

After an impasse of 15 days at the start of the lockdown, my team and I started undertaking a microanalysis of all matters under our ambit. The immediate visible impact to the business was our contractual obligation to continue paying rentals for our offices, although we had not occupied them. The contracts did not have a force majeure clause. “What can we lose by trying?”, we thought, and went ahead to negotiate with our landlords.

Our timely regular payments for the past several years, professional behaviour with landlords, coupled with the pandemic induced circumstances, helped us taste early success. We were able to save cash outflow of several lakhs of rupees in May and June.

We took the same approach to identify and negotiate on high value matters already in litigation or which could potentially become litigious. Unlike the traditional negotiation tactics that look at a win-lose outcome, we chose to look at the win-win outcome for all the parties through an impartial review of matters. Based on this, we were able to propose solutions that could be fair to all parties. Below is a chart we used, which is based on SWOT analysis.

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